Apple is making its own cellular modems for its future iPhones, states a report from Bloomberg. It is announced by Apple’s senior vice president of hardware technologies, Johny Srouji, with the company employees at a town hall meeting, the report cites. This move is significant as it eliminates the reliance on Qualcomm (Intel previously) for cellular modems for iPhone with iPhone 12 series, being the latest. The modem is undoubtedly a critical element for any smartphone, including the iPhone, to effectively handle calls and communications.
Apple in-house cellular modems
This move from Apple signifies its recent transition to homemade M1 chip that powered the latest Macs, including the MacBook Air, Mac mini, and MacBook Pro. This made Apple cut its reliance on Intel for the Macs. Apple has been making its top tier ‘A’ silicon chips, with A-14 Bionic being the latest that powers the newest iPhone 12 series. However, to make them 5G capable, they still used Qualcomm’s cellular modems, which might not be the case for future iPhones with this transit.
The Bloomberg report, citing sources familiar with the matter, indicates that Apple has kicked off its first internal modem this year. This is another key strategic transition, according to Srouji. He has further implied that last year’s $1 Billion Intel’s modem acquisition by Apple has aided develop a hardware and software engineer team to build its first internal modem. This new cellular modem will fall under Apple’s wireless chips including the W-series chip and the U1 chip featured in iPhone 11, the report refers.
Apple’s Srouji, however, hasn’t indicated when the new cellular modems will feature in iPhones. But, it appears it will not likely be soon. As Apple and Qualcomm are part of a six-year license agreement, signed in 2019, the report suggests.
Nonetheless, we can witness where Apple is heading over down the line on its future products. It now has M1 for Macs, W-series for Apple Watch, A-series for iPhones, H1 chips for AirPods and new cellular chips for future iPhones. This makes Apple have a rich pipeline of innovative technologies for future products, suggests Srouji, in the Bloomberg report.